I starting running again this week.
I love to run, but...
My legs ache, my head aches, my back aches, my arms ache...
Basically, I'm out of shape, so...
I'm trying to get back into it.
And wow, it's hard.
I've noticed though, that when I'm running I give myself a goal like, see if you can run to that tree, which is good, but I get two steps away from the tree and stop running, start walking again. Eh, it's just two steps, I reason to myself. But as I was going toward the gate last night (that was my goal) I noticed that I made a mental stopping place. I had decided to stop about three feet short of my "goal". Realizing what I was doing, I scolded myself and decided that once I touched the gate, I could stop.
Talk about endurance.
As I ran, I thought, what if this were my approach to life? What if I made goals and ran toward them but stopped short each time? Even though I've run faithfully ALMOST to the gate, I haven't run to the gate, I haven't finished, I'm not done. But what if my feet start to hurt? What if my knees give way? Don't think about that - it's not running in such a way as to receive the prize doesn't focus on the bumps on the way, it centers on the goal. If I focus on what may or may not hinder me or trip me up, I'll probably be hindered because I've lost sight of the goal. All those obstacles: the thoughts that make me think I can't, the physical ouch I'm sore, I don't want to go any more, all of those things need to be removed. I don't want them in there at all as I try to run this race. I don't want to be hindering myself from my goal in life.
I do have goals for running in case you wondered. I'd like to get in shape first of all. After that's been accomplished, I would love to run in a race. Right now I'm thinking 5k but in the future I'd like to run a marathon. I don't know that I actually will ever attempt a 26 mile run, but I can guarantee you that with the attitude of stopping just a little short that I've recognized, I'd never run that far. I would go go go and then stop at 24 miles... almost there. And how awful would that be? It isn't a basket of roses: it's hard, it hurts, it gets boring sometimes but when I'm running I've got to press on or I won't get anywhere! Same with life. If I decide that something's too hard and I'd like the easy route, I can do that but I need to realize that I'll need to change my goals. No one ever acheived Christ-likeness by opening their Bible on Sundays or singing along with Chris Tomlin. It's about the way we live, the things we do. I can read about running and set great goals for when I'm going to do it but if I don't actually get out there and put my feet on the pavement, nothing's going to happen.
I returned home last night absolutely drenched and disgusting with sweat. But I was so happy. I ran exactly to all of my goals, ran a little further if I could. Perhaps that little thought that popped into my head as I ran to the gate will come back to remind me if I start losing sight of the goal and decide to just give up but I hope not. I don't ever want to have that realization again. I don't want to find myself falling short or taking the easy way. I want to sweat and hurt go further than I thought I could.
I want to run to win :)